Some birth-year words

Thanks to Merriam-Webster’s “Time Trav­el­er” fea­ture, I now know that the fol­low­ing words’ and phras­es’ first record­ed use hap­pened the year I was born:

And dozens of oth­ers, too. How about you?

(Maybe lat­er I’ll indulge in a caipir­in­ha.)

14th try’s the charm

I real­ly like my short sto­ry “The Overnight Shift”. I wrote it last sum­mer, in a week­end, at the start of my 2016 writer’s retreat. It was orig­i­nal­ly writ­ten as a con­test entry in the NYC Mid­night flash fic­tion con­test.

Since I wrote it, I’ve been try­ing to sell it. It’s right at the 1,000-word mark, mak­ing it what they term flash fic­tion. There are a decent num­ber of pay­ing mar­kets for flash fic­tion, and I was start­ing to think I was going to have to try them all.

Screenshot

That is a screen­shot of my Sub­mis­sion Grinder screen for “The Overnight Shift”. The num­bers in the square brack­ets at the end? That’s [the num­ber of cur­rent open sub­mis­sions for a piece / the num­ber of sub­mis­sions this year / the num­ber of all-time sub­mis­sions]. Those 14 are all the times I’ve sent this piece out into the world. 13 times run­ning, it was reject­ed (twice it made it to the sec­ond round, where it was then pruned).

And final­ly, this week, I sold it. It will appear some­time in Novem­ber in The Arcan­ist, a rel­a­tive­ly new online SF/F ’zine fea­tur­ing flash fic­tion.

I’ll be sure to post here when it goes live. Trust me, you won’t be able to keep me qui­et about it.

Writing Retreat 2017

The Office -- writing at my friends' cabin

As is rapid­ly becom­ing tra­di­tion, I spent most of the last week of July in a friend’s cab­in up at Minnedosa. (Thanks, Karen & Ed!) My goals for the week are post­ed here, and here’s how it went:

Beat sheets for the major characters in Translations

I have a com­plete out­line for the POV’s arc, which is the most crit­i­cal as it’s nar­rat­ed in the first per­son.

Also, I had a major epiphany about the POV char­ac­ter, one that will shake up the last ⅔ of the book.

10,000 words in Translations

I wrote 12,500 words in Trans­la­tions, the bulk of it writ­ten as I sat on the deck, pret­ty much all alone in the cot­tage area.

At least a few shots of the Milky Way

Yeah, that turned out okay.

The Galaxy

Hav­ing access to a car this year real­ly helped me get to the dark places (lit­er­al­ly) so that I could get some great pho­tos of the night sky.

Also, I sold a print of one of my pho­tos to a friend. (Thanks, Bri­anne!) Does that mean I’m a pro now?

Lots of bike riding

Well. My bike’s left ped­al arm has been com­ing loose more and more fre­quent­ly. It’s got to go into the shop. On my first ride in Minnedosa, I had to stop twice to tight­en the ped­al arm, both times on my way up a hill. So after that, feh to bike rid­ing. (At least, my bike in its cur­rent con­di­tion.)

For­tu­nate­ly, I had access to a kayak (thanks, Car­la!), so I put in about 15 km of pad­dling time, going up and down the lake.

Stretch goals

I read James S. A. Corey’s amaz­ing Leviathan Wakes, cour­tesy of my pub­lic library’s e-book pro­gram. I’m now hooked, and need to read the rest of the Expanse saga.

I also re-read the first ⅔ of Gene Wolfe’s sub­tle and mys­te­ri­ous The Fifth Head of Cer­berus, which, I’m not gonna lie, prob­a­bly had at least a lit­tle bit to do with my afore­men­tioned epiphany. (It’s also the first Wolfe nov­el I’ve re-read, and it’s amaz­ing how much less con­fu­sion I feel, how much more I’m pick­ing up.)

And we bought a sec­ond car, which is why I could have a vehi­cle to go gal­li­van­tin’ around the coun­try­side, look­ing for dark loca­tions to get pho­tos like this:

The Galaxy

I think that went well.

Save

À la prochaine, Minnedosa

There are worse offices. #writ­ing #writ­er­stears

A post shared by Patrick Johan­neson (@pjohanneson) on

And thus ends the 2017 writ­ing retreat. I’ll have a more detailed post lat­er, but the pré­cis is that I wrote 12,500+ words in Trans­la­tions, had an epiphany that will change the last third of the sto­ry, took a bunch of pho­tos, and drank a lot of iced cof­fee at Chip­per­fields as I used their wifi (much as I am right now).

Oh, and we bought a car.

Good times.

The Office

The Office -- writing at my friends' cabin

For the next week, at least. It’s time for Writ­ing Retreat, 2017 Edi­tion.

So far I’ve got 3,500 words of a 10,000+ word goal. (1,000 words of that is in an outline/beat sheet, so I’m not real­ly count­ing them. I’m also not count­ing blog posts. That seems like it’d be cheat­ing.)